Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bracketology: The Elite Eight

Doug:  Don't tell me there won't be some hand-wringing on some of these votes!  Something revered is definitely going to go by the wayside by Wednesday evening.  Today's question --

Of the stories that remain, please discuss when you first read them -- did you purchase them off the spinner racks, or did you come to them much later?


humanbelly said...

OMG-- Death of Gwen & Kree/Skrull War came up AGAINST each other?? Yep, that's brutal. In a different configuration you could see those being the final two, even-!

Great survey question, Doug-- really taxes the ol' aging-boomer/pst-boomer brain cells. . . let's see. . .

Crisis: Finally read it in the TPB collection as part of a SFBC package in summer of 2000.

Korvac: Spinner rack/Gohn's Pharmacy magazine rack.

Death of Gwen: At that time, borrowed my best friend's older brother's books (the very ones which I now possess, as it turns out).

Kree-Skrull: Same as above.

Death of Cpt.Marvel: Bought the Graphic Novel about a year or so after it came out-- used copy, at a comic convention, I think.

Days of F/P: Man-- I think it was probably the Classic X-Men reprint.

Bride of Ultron: Mostly spinner rack-- but missed some issues that I filled in years later at a used book store.

Dark Phoenix: Oh, this is embarrassing. I STOPPED buying X-Men, initially, at around issue #130 or so. Didn't actually read the entire saga until they came out w/ that excellent TPB a few years (two or three, maybe?) later. I believe my "original" run then starts up again with, of course, issue #138-- and then SKIPS Days of F/P, and nothing else. Really, the exact opposite of good timing. . .


Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, the Marvel stories really took over here, didn't they?
As for the question at hand:
Crisis: have yet to actually read it, as it came out during a hiatus in my comics reading; it reminds me that maybe I should seek out a battered used copy of the tpb on ebay or something.
Korvac saga: this was just before I started reading Avengers on a monthly basis, so I only picked up a few issues of it - so I've never read the entire thing all the way through. The trade or HC collection is a high priority on my want list.
Death of Gwen Stacy: read the Marvel Tales reprints, bought off the spinner rack.
Kree-Skrull: read it all the way through the first time about 3 years ago, when I bought the tpb.
Death of Capt. Marvel: I'm sure I read this, as I'm quie familiar with the story, but the fact is I'm pretty sure I never bought the original graphic novel. I guess I borrowed it from someone. This one honestly puzzles me...
Days of Future Past: first issue was bought off the spinner rack, second one came in the mail when my X-men subscription kicked in.
Bride of Ultron: like with Death of CM, I know I read this, but I don't think I actually had the original issues. Anyway, yet another reason to get that Korvac Saga collection.
Dark Phoenix: bought off the spinner rack.

Anonymous said...

I read Crisis as it came was, unlike many crossovers to follow, a bonafide Groundbreaking Event. I'll never forget the Comics Buyers Guide headline about issue 7: "The Rumors Are True!"

Same with the Dark Phoenix saga. As a kid, I always felt the X-Men were creepy and avoided them in favor of my pals Spidey, the Avengers and the Defenders. But one day my dad brought me to the newsstand and...there was nothing I didn't have or want! But I just couldn't leave empty handed, so I chose X-Men 129. It was the perfect jumping on point. As Kitty Pryde met the weird folks from Westchester, so did I. I immediately fell in love with the series (the Phoenix saga blew me away) and kept reading all the way to issue 321.

All the others I read as reprints (Gwen's death in Marvel Tales, for example) or gathered up when my folks would take me to a flea market that assembled weekly in search of treasure (how I miss those days). The Korvac story (where he killed the Avengers) shocked Young Me, and I still get a residual chill reading it today!

Edo Bosnar said...

Oops, have to amend my above comment regarding Bride of Ultron: read the first part (Avengers #161-162) for the first time in this odd tpb I bought real cheap a few years ago that includes these two issues, plus Avengers Annual #6 & 8.

Redartz said...

Really getting down to the nitty gritty!

Death of Gwen- bought them as back issues at our LCS in the mid 70's for 1.50 each. Sure miss those days...

Kree/skrull War- also as back issues, at a con about 1977.

Death of Capt. Marvel- bought the graphic novel off the rack.

Korvac Saga- bought off the spinner rack.

Crisis- one of the last series I bought off the racks before selling off my collection (alas ).

Future past- bought off the racks.

Bride of Ultron- again, bought off the racks. I recently replaced this series thanks to a dollar box at a local con!

William said...

Crisis: Bought the issues as they came out.

Korvac: Bought a few issues (including the final battle) on the spinner racks, but I didn't own the complete saga until I bought the trade paperback a few years ago.

Death of Gwen: First read it as reprint in Marvel Tales. Bought the original issues in the mid-80's at my LCS (in mint condition I might ad). I also own the "Death of the Stacys" hardcover, which reprints the story as well.

Kree / Skrull War: I was never too fond of this one for some reason. It could be because I am apparently one of the only people on Earth who doesn't really care for Neal Adams' art. Anyway, I'd only read parts of the story in reprints and finally the entire thing in the trade paperback (which I checked out from the library) and I still found it to be just O.K. (This is the only one of the final eight that I don't own at all in some form or another).

Death of CM: Bought the graphic novel when it originally came out (I still have it). It was very well done, but I don't love it because I really liked Captain Marvel and I wasn't happy at all that they killed him off. No matter in how eloquent and touching the manner.

Days of Future Past: Bought these off the spinner racks when they came out. Sold them a few years ago (along with all my X-Men), but I still have them in an X-Men hardcover reprint volume.

Bride of Ultron: One of my all-time favorites btw. Bought the issues off the spinner racks. Also have them reprinted in a trade.

Dark Phoenix: Another all-time favorite. Bought it off the spinner racks. As I said above, I sold all my X-Men a while back, but I own the trade paperback, so it's all good.

Prediction: Dark Phoenix will win this poll.

humanbelly said...

Wow, you may well be right, there, William. It certainly looks likely that it'll boil down to Dark Phoenix vs. either Gwen's Death or Kree/Skrull War.

I could easily place that trio of events in a three-way tie. I like that it represents three different titles, w/ each event rightly considered a seminal moment therein. Personally, I couldn't make an honest choice--- it would take the decision of a three-sided coin. . .


Doug said...

I've been voting for the a) impact the story had on me when I first read it, and/or b) the lasting impact of the story. Last week I voted for the Celestial Madonna; this week I voted for Bride of Ultron. I bought the latter as it came out; like HB, I quit collecting comics right after X-Men #130 came out. Duh... so the Dark Phoenix Saga was a catch-me-up. Bride of Ultron really resonated because I read it currently and the Avengers was my favorite mag as a youth.

However, I am in no way denying the total awesomeness of Dark Phoenix. Because it is. It's certainly a leading candidate for "best long arc" ever.


Anthony said...

I never read the complete Crisis. I only got the first issue when it came out for some reason. I purchased the hardcover when it was first released but have yet to make it all the way through. I understand the significance of this series ( at least until the New 52 ) but perhaps because I waited so long and know all the highlights. I will give it another go soon.

I came to the Korvac saga with issue 172 and immediately loved it. I want to purchase the original trade with the now deleted epilogue when I can find it for a reasonable price.

Amazing 121 was only my second issue of Spider-man that I picked up. The first being 120 with the Hulk although I can remember reading a friend's copy of 104 with Gog. I never did read 122. I don't think it had the same impact as I hadn't really read much Spider-Man before that.

I only read the Kree Skrull War sometime around 2004 in a trade that had been released a few years earlier. I have an edition before Marvel went to the slick paper.

I must confess I never read the Death Of Captain Marvel though I missed a golden opportunity when Marvel Digital offered it as one of their free daily reads.

I read X-Men Days Of Future Past when it first came out. My first issue of X-Men was 111. I debated getting it for a couple of months.
When I finally caved and got it the next issue my corner store got in was 115. That's the old newsstand distribution. I also got the Dark Phoenix saga off the stands but missed a few issues that I picked up at a convention and a comic shop.

I plan on reading some of Brides Of Ultron soon as I saved scans of 161 and 162 from Mars Will Send No More.

Fred W. Hill said...

I really got into collecting comics (as opposed to just getting & reading issues at random) just a few months after the Kree-Skrull War, which I read about (particularly in the first Thanos epic in Captain Marvel) but didn't actually read until over a decade later. However, I started just in time to read the original comics featuring the deaths of Gwen Stacy & the Green Goblin right off of the spinner racks for 21 cents each (the cover price plus a penny tax!). So the K-S War was an epic I was aware of as a legendary backstory but the murder of Gwen Stacy and its aftermath was something I experienced as those original comics were coming out. Both were great, important stories, but in very different ways. For all its imperfections, the Kree-Skrull War provided the Avengers with a greater sense of epic grandeur, and brought back their big three (Cap, Thor and Iron Man) to more or less permanent status for the next several years for the first time in over 6 years for IM & Thor and about 4 for Cap.
The death of Gwen Stacy, however, had that massive emotional impact, as reflected in the letters pages for the next severl issues. The fact that this was in Marvel's bestselling and most prominant title of the time just clinched Marvel's reputation as being overall aimed at an older audience than the majority of DC comics. Gwen had been Spidey's main squeeze for years and she clearly wasn't created specifically to be killed off and provide one issue of trauma for the hero to be forgotten by the next issue (which was the sense I got from Kiby's "Love Story" in his latter '70s run in Captain America). The Dark Phoenix saga had echoes of both the Kree-Skrull War and the Death of Gwen Stacy, but Jean Grey's death wasn't as much an unexpected tragedy as Gwen's was. To a large degree, in my estimation, those two deaths are the bookends of the Bronze Age, if not quite from a definitive standpoint, certainly from an emotional one.

vancouver mark said...

The Kree/Skrull War happened a year or two before I started buying Marvels, so I heard about it all the time. I managed to find flea market/used comic bin copies of #90, 93, 95 and 97, and the remaining issues were among my first purchases when the Comicshop first opened.
Amazing Spider-Man# 121 was coincidentally the first Spidey issue I ever bought. I thought, "wow, this IS good," and became an immediate regular.
Bride of Ultron, Korvac, Dark Phoenix, Death of Captain Marvel, and Days of Future Past I bought as they came out, and I'm pleased to say they've all survived the repeated purges of my collection.
I'm another who's never read Crisis all the way through. I bought a couple of issues, and mostly waved them around saying, "see, this is why I don't like DC." I was admittedly a bit of a Marvel Zombie at the time. But I've taken it out of the library twice, and never finished it before it was due.

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